I don’t know what it is about Germans and saxophone-shaped harmonicas, but they sure did seem to like them. This Radio harp (or is it the Doraphone brand?) appeared on eBay in April 2012. And just like the La Tarviata harp, this Radio remains an enigma.
The seller described it as being 6½” long, and provided the following photo to back up his description.
After extensive searching on the Internet with both English and German search engines, I found nothing for Radio as a brand name for harmonicas. I did however, find a few references for Doraphone on English language pages on the ‘Net. Among the most informative was Al’s Harmonica Blog.
This is what Al writes about the name Doraphone:
Ferdinand Strauss, Doraphone Loudspeaker
The Ferdinand Strauss Harmonica Company marketed the Doraphone Loudspeaker in 1924, it was one of several horned harmonica’s the company designed during this time period. I’ve read that the gramaphone like horn on this particular model was designed to be rotated to point in any direction, I’m not sure if that was the original intention or not but regardless it’s more for visual appearance than anything.
Here are a few photos of a harp like Al describes. This one happened to appear on eBay recently.
According to Al’s Harmonica Blog, the original patent for the Ferdinand Strauss, Doraphone Loudspeaker was issued in 1925.
I can’t say with certainty that the saxophone-shaped Radio/Doraphone harmonica has any link to the Ferdinand Strauss, Doraphone Loudspeaker harp. However, the Doraphone name appearing on both instruments makes me think that there likely is a connection.
Perhaps one day I’ll discover this connection by accident. Or, if you have any knowledge about either of these instruments, please let me know. Thanks!